Modular design helps UCLA’s Pritzker Hall earn LEED Platinum

There’s no better place to ensure a healthy physical and mental environment than at a university undergraduate program for psychology. So when UCLA received $30 million in funding from the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation, it used the money to renovate the former Franz Hall into the modern and now complete Pritzker Hall. 

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A lobby area where people sit on sofas and at tables.

Pritzker Hall is an eight-story building for students and staff involved in the psychology program. Originally built in 1967 by notable architect Paul Revere Williams, the structure has recently been updated through a collaboration between CO Architects and Tangram Interiors for a vibrant, modern, efficient design that earned LEED Platinum certification for energy efficiency and sustainability.

Related: Portland State University’s new hall qualifies for LEED gold

The team decided to refurbish the building, saving as many usable parts as possible. However, the new design expanded the lobby for an open feel that funnels in abundant natural light. Due to the height and location, the building was also upgraded with seismic safety improvements. This was achieved via consultation from the university’s engineering department to develop 40 purpose-built dampers that act as shock absorbers for the above-ground floors.

A lobby area where people sit on sofas and at tables, with a galaxy mural to the left.

Classrooms, spaces to collaborate and research areas were all modernized for ADA accessibility while keeping elements such as the original structural waffle slab on the second floor and natural materials such as damaged marble walls and terrazzo flooring that were worked around instead of destroyed. 

A classroom of people sitting at circular tables with black chairs.

Throughout the building, energy-efficient LED lighting supplements study and lecture areas. The team incorporated other thoughtful touches like the addition of drought-tolerant plants and interior design elements by Tangram, such as student-focused furniture selections. Many of the primary spaces were designed with a modular and flexible design to suit the need for growth and change as the program expands.  

A psychology classroom looking at brain scans.

“UCLA Psychology students and faculty alike are humbled by the thoughtfully designed Pritzker Hall renovation project,” said Victoria Sork, Dean of Life Sciences. “CO Architects together with Tangram, were able to honor the building’s history while providing the needed cutting-edge facelift. From the collaborative spaces throughout to the newage research labs, the innovative furniture and overall execution of design gives our program renewed confidence as one of the top psychology departments in the United States.”

A classroom with rows of long tables with students sitting at chairs.

According to a press release, “Pritzker Hall was awarded the Westside Urban Forum Merit Award in the public/institutional category. The project was recognized for its emphasis on collaboration between students and faculty, while elevating the program’s candor and highly sought after psychology programs.”

+ Tangram Interiors